Author Topic: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?  (Read 430077 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2720 on: September 26, 2021, 06:45:52 AM »


Although it boasts one of Strauss’ trademark soaring lyric soprano roles, Daphne for once lets us hear good parts for tenors (two of them!). Both require strong voices, but of a different character: lyrical and plangent with Leukippos, strongly siegmundian with Apollo. Wunderlich and King sing strongly and with great commitment in this live recording. As Daphne’s father, Paul Schöffler is authoritative but his intonation is sometimes suspect - maybe he was past his prime then (1968). Güden is in excellent voice and satisfies on all counts. I suspect that the competition (Popp and Fleming) must be at least as good, though. Böhm’s contribution is superb, the VSO excellent (glorious solo horn playing). This set takes some 10 minutes less than Haitink in an opera that is already on the short side of things. I wonder if there were any cuts ? If not, I guess that means that Böhm urges things along more than Haitink. A fine set.

A stunning recording of Daphne. Compared to Haitink, Böhm is in a league of his own. To my knowledge, there are no cuts, but even if there were, it's still a better recording than Haitink. :)

Disclaimer: I do like Haitink's conducting a lot in general and he's generally more alert in opera recordings, but I do wonder if he just didn't enjoy Daphne as much as other operas he has conducted? He's absolutely in-tune with other operas I've heard from him namely Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle and Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande.
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2721 on: September 28, 2021, 12:29:47 AM »
A stunning recording of Daphne. Compared to Haitink, Böhm is in a league of his own. To my knowledge, there are no cuts, but even if there were, it's still a better recording than Haitink. :)


I've never heard the Böhm, but I've read reviews that mention some minor cuts. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I've got the Haitink and Bychkov, both uncut.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2722 on: September 28, 2021, 01:40:38 AM »


Although it boasts one of Strauss’ trademark soaring lyric soprano roles, Daphne for once lets us hear good parts for tenors (two of them!). Both require strong voices, but of a different character: lyrical and plangent with Leukippos, strongly siegmundian with Apollo. Wunderlich and King sing strongly and with great commitment in this live recording. As Daphne’s father, Paul Schöffler is authoritative but his intonation is sometimes suspect - maybe he was past his prime then (1968). Güden is in excellent voice and satisfies on all counts. I suspect that the competition (Popp and Fleming) must be at least as good, though. Böhm’s contribution is superb, the VSO excellent (glorious solo horn playing). This set takes some 10 minutes less than Haitink in an opera that is already on the short side of things. I wonder if there were any cuts ? If not, I guess that means that Böhm urges things along more than Haitink. A fine set.

I've toyed with getting a recording of Daphne from time to time, but haven't been able to make up my mind. I have a real soft spot for Popp and I like Fleming in Strauss, but Wunderlich is one of the only tenors I've heard who can make Strauss's tenor writing sound beautiful. If the role is as important as you say, maybe the Böhm would be my best bet.

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Offline The new erato

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2723 on: September 28, 2021, 01:48:26 AM »
Böhm's Strauss is one of the reasons I mentioned him in the 10 favorite conductors thread (which in my case grew to 16 names  :D  )

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2724 on: September 28, 2021, 08:22:59 AM »
I've toyed with getting a recording of Daphne from time to time, but haven't been able to make up my mind. I have a real soft spot for Popp and I like Fleming in Strauss, but Wunderlich is one of the only tenors I've heard who can make Strauss's tenor writing sound beautiful. If the role is as important as you say, maybe the Böhm would be my best bet.

Both tenor roles are of the same length and dramatic importance. Apollo is a bit like Bacchus (Ariadne): static and stentorian. Which makes the role of Leukippos particularly appealing IMO, as he has a more interesting dramatis persona and singing part.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2725 on: September 28, 2021, 10:32:36 AM »
From last night:

NP:

Feldman
Neither
Petra Hoffmann
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Kwamé Ryan




An anti-opera? Quite possibly, but utterly fascinating to say the least. The eerie atmosphere Feldman conjures up is completely singular and strangely alluring.

From what I've read both Feldman and Samuel Beckett (his librettist for Neither) both hated opera. I'm not far behind them, but I wouldn't say I hate the genre as there are some operas that I do love, but, in general, I don't gravitate towards it. Anyway, Neither is a haunting work and I can say that it is in a way the antithesis of operatic music in that there's no real dramatic content in the music and the vocal (a lone soprano) sings almost in this monotone form of expression. Anyway, this opera is quite an achievement I think.
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Offline JBS

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2726 on: September 28, 2021, 11:45:08 AM »
Just finished


If you like Weber you'll like this.

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2727 on: September 28, 2021, 12:45:09 PM »


This is a very enjoyable version of Haydn's only Metastasio opera, also one of the few semiseria libretti that Metastasio ever wrote. The singing and playing are very good indeed, bearing in mind that this is far from grand opera, it was written by both the librettist and the composer as a chamber opera (azione teatrale). There are just 4 roles, the younger woman's role ('Silvia') was written by Haydn for his mistress, Luigia Polzelli.

Here is some background information on the composition and original performance:  The Desert Island, and with some good alternate versions if you are so inclined.

Dorati, of course!


DeMarchi with a very nice PI version:


And finally, a German version which was sent to Haydn in 1802, and which he orchestrated all the recitatives to, along with major corrections to the music that arrived long with the translation. It was, in fact, the last bit of opera he was to ever work on, and one of the last works, period. Orfeo Baroque Orchestra do a nice job with it, too!


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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2728 on: September 29, 2021, 02:41:43 AM »
I've toyed with getting a recording of Daphne from time to time, but haven't been able to make up my mind. I have a real soft spot for Popp and I like Fleming in Strauss, but Wunderlich is one of the only tenors I've heard who can make Strauss's tenor writing sound beautiful. If the role is as important as you say, maybe the Böhm would be my best bet.
I'm a big fan of Fritz Wunderlich.  His death at the height of his singing career was a tragedy.

Not familiar with Strauss' opera Daphne, but will have to keep an eye out for it.

PD

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2729 on: September 29, 2021, 11:59:19 AM »
From the "Listening" thread:

Quote
Adams
The Death of Klinghoffer
James Maddalena, Janice Felty et. al.
Lyon National Opera Orchestra
London Opera Chorus
Kent Nagano



This is one hell of an opera. Darkly turbulent and Adams puts his own unusual touch on the work. The first two movements act as a prologue and are for chorus and orchestra. I can't think of any opera off the top of my head where there's essentially choral pieces at the beginning. Anyway, an enjoyable work that only reaffirms Adams' knack for the theatrical. A trait he no doubt shares with Britten, Janáček, Berg et. al.
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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2730 on: October 01, 2021, 11:15:11 AM »
A trip down memory lane… :)

Some days  in the (breathtaking) Obersalzberg region in Southeast Bavaria made me want to revisit the Bavarian operas of Carl Orff, particularly Der Mond:



It’s not often that I listen to Orff, but Der Mond is a work I really enjoyed in my teens —the Sawallisch recording in EMI/Ángel— , and I really enjoyed it this time around (after a hiatus of several decades, I knew much of the text by heart). The folksy / naïf idiom, but with moments of great sweetness (that very Bavarian music at the end!), is quite beguiling. Herbert Kegel (as usual) leads a very effective performance of this charming piece.

The recording is included in the set depicted below (in an “original covers” format), which also includes Kegel’s recording of Die Kluge (a work I remember being less keen on in my youth), and his complete Trionfi (which I didn’t really need —already having Jochum conducting them— but the price of the box at Ludwig Beck in Munich was very attractive):



I also bought another Orff work, Die Bernauerin (in what I understand is its only recording), that’ll be completely new to me:



« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 11:39:56 AM by ritter »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2731 on: October 02, 2021, 01:01:55 AM »


Enesco's Oedipe is a masterpiece, no doubt about it, and reasons for its neglect are hard to fathom. Maybe it has something to do with the large cast, or the difficulty of finding a bass-baritone capable of fulfilling the title role's vocal and dramatic demands.

This 1989 recording certainly does it proud with José Van Dam giving one of his best recorded performances. The rest of the cast is littered with star names, with Gabriel Bacquier as Tirésias, Gino Quilico as Thésée, Brigitte Fassbänder as Jocaste, Marjana Lipovsek as The Sphinx, Barbara Hendricks as Antigone and even Nicolai Gedda in the small but important role of the Shepherd.

Lawrence Foster certainly has the measure of the score and his Monte Carlo forces play brilliantly for him. The chorus, which play such a prominent part in the opera is the excellent Orféon Donasterra.

If you don't know this opera, I suggest you try it. Performances have been few and far between sinces its premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1936.
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Offline ritter

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2732 on: October 02, 2021, 03:25:52 AM »


Enesco's Oedipe is a masterpiece, no doubt about it, and reasons for its neglect are hard to fathom. Maybe it has something to do with the large cast, or the difficulty of finding a bass-baritone capable of fulfilling the title role's vocal and dramatic demands.

This 1989 recording certainly does it proud with José Van Dam giving one of his best recorded performances. The rest of the cast is littered with star names, with Gabriel Bacquier as Tirésias, Gino Quilico as Thésée, Brigitte Fassbänder as Jocaste, Marjana Lipovsek as The Sphinx, Barbara Hendricks as Antigone and even Nicolai Gedda in the small but important role of the Shepherd.

Lawrence Foster certainly has the measure of the score and his Monte Carlo forces play brilliantly for him. The chorus, which play such a prominent part in the opera is the excellent Orféon Donasterra.

If you don't know this opera, I suggest you try it. Performances have been few and far between sinces its premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1936.
It is a stunning work, noble and full of musical wonders.

Fortunately, it’s being performed a bit more these days. It was given at the Salzburg Festival in 2019, and is opening the season of the Paris Opérs (in both occasions with Ingo Metzmacher as conductor). A friend of mine is expressly  travelling from Spain to Paris to attend one of the performances.

The Foster recording is a great achievement, and was my introduction to the work in the original French when it was first released (I had the old Electrecord set in Romanian translation on LP). A live recording from the Vienna State Opera on Naxos, under Michael Gielen and with the late lamented Monte Pederson in the title rôle works less well IMHO.

My favourite, in any case, is this (slightly cut) performance recorded live at an homage to the composer shortly after his death (AFAIK, it was the first performance of the work in Paris after WWII), with Xavier Depraz, and conducted by Charles Brück:

ritter
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2733 on: October 02, 2021, 06:59:23 AM »
It is a stunning work, noble and full of musical wonders.

Fortunately, it’s being performed a bit more these days. It was given at the Salzburg Festival in 2019, and is opening the season of the Paris Opérs (in both occasions with Ingo Metzmacher as conductor). A friend of mine is expressly  travelling from Spain to Paris to attend one of the performances.

The Foster recording is a great achievement, and was my introduction to the work in the original French when it was first released (I had the old Electrecord set in Romanian translation on LP). A live recording from the Vienna State Opera on Naxos, under Michael Gielen and with the late lamented Monte Pederson in the title rôle works less well IMHO.

My favourite, in any case, is this (slightly cut) performance recorded live at an homage to the composer shortly after his death (AFAIK, it was the first performance of the work in Paris after WWII), with Xavier Depraz, and conducted by Charles Brück:



Good to see it's beginning to get the recognition it deserves. A friend of mine thinks it's "a dreadful piece of tat".  ::)

I don't agree of course.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2734 on: October 02, 2021, 09:45:53 AM »
Although a new production would be nice I doubt it could be better than the Foster EMI. I have a few discs of Enescu conducted by that conductor and at one point I was wondering ‘why is this bloke recording all these Enescus in the first place’ ? I found out that, although he was born in LA, both his parents were jewish romanian immigrants. Bartok was his first love, and it’s only some years later that he came to Enescu, by way of Bartok.

When the Oedipe recording was planned, Samuel Ramey was to sing the title role, and Marilyn Horne the Sphinx. Ramey got into a schedule conflict (he was doing Don Giovanni under Karajan at Salzburg) so van Dam stepped in and Lipovsek replaced Horne. Prince Rainier underwrote the Monte Carlo production, which was prestigious and expensive. We are lucky to have that recorded memento.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2735 on: October 02, 2021, 12:23:55 PM »
Although a new production would be nice I doubt it could be better than the Foster EMI. I have a few discs of Enescu conducted by that conductor and at one point I was wondering ‘why is this bloke recording all these Enescus in the first place’ ? I found out that, although he was born in LA, both his parents were jewish romanian immigrants. Bartok was his first love, and it’s only some years later that he came to Enescu, by way of Bartok.

When the Oedipe recording was planned, Samuel Ramey was to sing the title role, and Marilyn Horne the Sphinx. Ramey got into a schedule conflict (he was doing Don Giovanni under Karajan at Salzburg) so van Dam stepped in and Lipovsek replaced Horne. Prince Rainier underwrote the Monte Carlo production, which was prestigious and expensive. We are lucky to have that recorded memento.

Indeed we are, and I a more than happy with Van Dam and Lipovsek. I doubt Ramey and Horne would have been any better.

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Offline Brewski

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2736 on: October 02, 2021, 01:08:06 PM »
Dipping into Barrie Kosky's production of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, from the Komische Oper Berlin. It looks like it was recorded from a broadcast earlier today, and is available on demand until 29 October.

https://www.komische-oper-berlin.de/en/whats-on/a-z/mahagonny/

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2737 on: October 04, 2021, 03:10:18 AM »


Fauré's opera Pénélope was first staged in 1913 at the Salle Garnier in Monte Carlo, but failed to establish itself in the repertory and is now rarely heard. It is a beautful work, but the lack of dramatic event could perhaps be the reason for its neglect. Though not in the least bit Wagnerian, it follows Wagner's system of Leitmotiven, associating themes with the main characters and significant emotions.

Whatever the reasons for the lack of stage performances, it works well enough as an aural experience and this is a very fine recording of the work with a mostly French cast. Jessye Norman is splendid in the title role and there are certainly no problems with her top register here. Alain Vanzo has been criticised for sounding to young at the beginning when he is disguised as an old man, but perhaps the fault is Fauré's and the tenor register tends to sound youthful anyway. In any case I can't imagine the opera being better performed than it is here.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 04:31:14 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2738 on: October 07, 2021, 12:26:27 AM »


Minor Callas really, and I'd happily give this recording for the Genoa Tristan und Isolde, the La Scala Seraglio, Don Carlo or Il Pirata with Corelli and Bastianini. Still, any live Callas is worth hearing, even when she is singing an uncharacteristic role, which she never sang again.

The opera was supposed to have been Il Trovatore, but Del Monaco had pleaded indisposition. However, though he didn't feel up to singing Manrico, he thought he could manage Chénier and Callas, who could quite legitimately have pulled out, learned the short role of Maddalena in a few days. Given the almost hysterical reception the crowd give him, Del Monaco clearly knew what he was about.

I've left a fuller review on my blog http://tsaraslondon.com/2017/11/27/andrea-chenier-la-scala-1955/

Incidentally the sound of this broadcast is middling to bad. It could hardly be a library choice for the opera.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Reply #2739 on: October 07, 2021, 11:42:30 PM »


Much better sound of course than the live La Scala version I listened to yesterday, so more comfortable listening all round. Domingo is a much more thoughtful Chénier than Del Monaco and Milnes a rather more interesting Gérard than Protti. Scotto is a Maddalena in the Callas mould, though Callas in 1955 was in better control of her top register than Scotto is here.

Levine conducts an exciting performance. All in all a good library choice.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas